This Friday is the last day for Metcard.
But if you thought it was the end for paper tickets, think again. Even aside from V/Line tickets, they will live-on.
As noted in today’s Age, despite the claims from government that it’s impossible to have paper tickets on a system that’s moved to Smartcards, there are several scenarios in metropolitan areas where passengers will continue to be issued with paper tickets.
(This picture provided by “MAN_24.350” on the BusAustralia forum)
This is a Day Pass, basically a zone 1+2 daily ticket. As you can see, it bears an amazing resemblance to paper tickets used before Metcard.
So far I’ve found three cases where they’re being used:
Firstly, By charities, for clients in need who need to be given a public transport fare:
The Day Pass is for clients:
- in emergency situations
- who are extremely disadvantaged or disabled
- who, for variety of reasons cannot use myki and/or unlikely to retain one
- who aren’t able to use another product at the time of presenting for a Day
- Pass, such as Access Travel Pass or Asylum Seeker concession
— UnitingCare, quoting a Transport Ticketing Authority document
Secondly, Seniors are provided with travel vouchers each year, and these can be exchanged for Day Passes:
As a Victorian Seniors Card holder you can exchange your Free Travel Vouchers for a Day Pass as an alternative means to travel on public transport instead of myki.
The Day Pass is not available for sale to the general public and is ONLY issued under special circumstances, or to certain concession groups that are redeeming free travel entitlements or vouchers.
This Day Pass entitles you to one day’s travel on public transport in Zones 1 and 2 in Melbourne, as well as on regional town bus services where myki is operating. You must use a myki for any other travel undertaken.
In order for the Day Pass to be valid for travel, it must be issued to you at a staffed train station with the day, month and year of your intended travel, hole-punched. A Day Pass that does not have the day of intended travel identified in this way is not a valid ticket.
And finally, and I find this one the most amusing, they are to be issued to Seniors on Mornington Peninsula bus routes 787 and 788.
Why? Because of a shortcoming with Myki. You see, under Metcard Seniors can buy a Seniors Daily for $3.80, covering all travel in metropolitan Melbourne, including zones 1 and 2, and the entirety of routes 787 and 788, parts of which are beyond zone 2.
Myki couldn’t handle this. It deals with parts of those bus routes as being in zones 3 and 4, but it treats a Seniors Daily fare as only being valid in zones 1 and 2. Seniors using Myki to travel from say Portsea into Frankston, and then on to central Melbourne and back again ended up paying about $9 for the fare.
Rather than fix the problem in the Myki software, instead Peninsula Seniors will be sold a Day Pass:
If you are travelling on bus routes 787 and 788 and making a return trip across three or more zones in one day, seniors on the Mornington Peninsula can buy a Day Pass from the bus driver and continue to pay the Seniors Daily fare of $3.80.
The Day Pass is a paper ticket that is valid for one day’s unlimited travel between Zone 3 or 4 on the Mornington Peninsula and into Zone 1 in Melbourne.
You can purchase a Day Pass from the bus driver for $3.80 to travel on that day only. Show your Victorian Seniors Card to the driver to request a Day Pass.
The bus driver must hole-punch the day, month and year in the Day Pass in order for the Day Pass to be valid for travel. A Day Pass that does not have the day, month and year hole-punched, or which has more than one day, month or year punched, is not valid for travel.
When travelling with a Day Pass, you must show it to the bus driver when boarding, to train station staff to gain entry or exit from a gated station, or to an Authorised Officer when requested. You must also carry your Victorian Seniors Card when travelling with a Day Pass. Please note that Day Passes cannot be used to travel on any other day, other than the date specified.
What about others wanting paper tickets?
There’s no doubt that encouraging as many people onto smartcards makes sense from an efficiency point of view, and for regular passengers there are a number of advantages (even if the implementation has been extremely troubleprone).
I’m not suggesting that punch tickets be used more widely as a short term ticket — nor am I suggesting that the short term cardboard Myki tickets currently used (for now) in regional cities be brought into metropolitan Melbourne.
Myki vending machines and bus consoles are capable of issuing receipts for top-ups. These should be used to print paper tickets (as is done in Brisbane and Perth) which can be shown to staff — just like the Day Pass.